It’s hard to let goNovember 21, 2014 by Darcie
It’s a sin that most cooks are guilty of committing – buying an unusual herb or spice, using it once (if at all), then leaving it in the spice drawer or cabinet, neglected. A recent study by kitchen electronics company Kenwood shines some light on just how much this happens, at least in Britain. It turns out that Brits keep a whopping £240m worth of unused herbs and spices sitting in their kitchens.
Thirteen percent of the Britons admitted to having herbs or spices that are more than four years old. The study also found that the “average homeowner has 10 different herbs and spices in the kitchen, with the four most-used being basil, chilli, oregano and coriander.” Kenwood’s trade marketing manager, Seb Goff, said the company was surprised by the response. “We know Brits continually embrace new flavours and cuisines, but it seems we’re not confident enough to experiment with them in our own homes.”
I suspect that the answers to this survey downplay the extent of herb hoarding. It would be interesting to see how these results stack up against cupboards in other countries, although they would probably be similar. The most popular herbs and spices might be different, however–it seems unlikely that coriander would top the list in the United States.
I count myself among the guilty when it comes to holding on to old spices. While I have good intentions about cleaning out the spice drawer, although I balk when it comes down to actually throwing the unused stuff in the waste bin. How about you? Are your spices fresh or do you have holdovers languishing in your cupboards too?
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